Hello, friends! In my last post, I ended it saying I hoped it wasn’t another 6 months before I posted again….and here we are a year later. *whomp whomp* You may be wondering, while I haven’t been posting, have I at least kept to the plan I proposed last time?….also no. Folks, it’s been quite a year.
Somewhere around early March each year my Seasonal Affective Disorder dissipates with the cold weather and by April I come out of hibernation and crave being outside and active. I’m a Pisces and a dreamer, so of course I start making big goals and plans (and often bite off more than I can actually chew, lol). In 2020 I started making more of an effort at being active because I had signed up to run the runDisney Wine & Dine Two Course Challenge in November before COVID cancelled everything. I had my most consistent year ever until I pulled something in my hip when I ran my virtual Main Street Mile that fall. At that point I took some time off, fell off the wagon, and never got back on.
I had high hopes of making things work last spring, but when I last posted, it was right before I realized how much I still needed to do to finish out the semester AND get my dissertation proposal on track to defend over the summer. I was taking three classes last spring and they were not the best three classes to take together, but I needed them to complete my coursework on time. They were all assignment heavy and had big projects due at the end. On top of that I was developing and writing my dissertation proposal and preparing to defend it in July. Being one of the first people through my doctoral program, there wasn’t a lot of direction yet, but there were a lot of expectations. While the dissertation proposal is certainly a big part of the doctoral process and definitely requires time and effort, I’m pretty sure I put in more time and effort than I really needed to because everyone wanted to make sure the two of us that were the first through the gate set the bar appropriately for the program overall. Basically, everyone involved was anxious and wanted to make sure everything was perfect. #nopressure I ended that semester burnt out and exhausted.
What I didn’t realize at the time was there were two other things at play here. First, I thought I was just feeling extra tired because I was stressed out, but it turns out my thyroid levels were actually off. I didn’t realize it until after I successfully defended my proposal in July, took a couple of weeks off, and didn’t feel any better (#hashiproblems). No wonder I didn’t feel like working out and was falling asleep on my couch every afternoon. I couldn’t get an endocrinology appointment for four months (thanks, COVID backlogs) so that took time to sort out. The other thing at play was my anxiety. I won’t get into the full story here, but the short of it is I didn’t realize how bad my anxiety had become until I started having full on anxiety attacks. I would get chilled, numb, my heartrate would shoot up, it felt like the walls were closing in, and like I was going to pass out. They would come out of nowhere. Not fun. Basically, I wasn’t dealing with feeling stressed, I just kept trying to push through everything without any recovery and my body was letting me know it was done dealing with that. The thyroid issue was likely also impacting my anxiety and ramping it up as well. So suffice to say, I had a lot going on.
The good news is, things are better now. My thyroid is much happier at the moment and being aware of your anxiety is the first step to outsmarting it. I’m also working with a counselor, which I highly recommend. My dissertation program is now up and running and I feel more positive about where I am. While I’m feeling more relaxed with my time and in control of everything, I’m making a bigger effort to get working out again so (hopefully), expect to hear from me again soon. I know working out will make me feel better overall….plus I signed up for the runDisney half marathon in January…after not having run, or worked out much, for the last 18 months. But I’ll save that story for another post. Like I said…big plans.